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November 23 at 8:15am

Should Museums Ban Films?

By Ben Kalina

I spent much of the past 4 years directing Shored Up, a film about coastal development, sea level rise and the science and policy debates surrounding these issues.  It was a long process with many twists, the biggest of which came when Superstorm Sandy hit and brought a dramatic new context to the film.

North Carolina figures prominently in Shored Up, initially as a contrast between the state’s forward-looking coastal development policies and the slippery slope of groins, jetties and beach replenishment in other states like New Jersey.  But this contrast was turned on its head as the North Carolina Legislature started to reverse many of these laws in 2012.

XKalina_ShoredUp2

As a result of North Carolina’s role in the film I’ve been actively planning a screening tour across the state this coming January.  It was to kick off with an event in Wilmington and culminate with a showing and panel discussion at a Science Café event in the North Carolina Natural Science Museum.  All seemed to be going well and this was shaping up to be a great opportunity to reach press and politicians with the science and policy issues that the film covers. [...]


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November 22 at 8:15am

10 More Embarrassing Brushes With Celebrities

Last week we gave you “10 Embarrassing Brushes with Celebrities” by Jack Lechner. Today, Miranda Bailey provides us with ten more of her own. It’s helpful to be reminded that even producers struggle with this.
 
by Miranda Bailey

1.) In 1996 I was invited to a party in Aspen hosted by Kevin Costner. I had lived in Aspen a year before but now I lived in Hollywood trying to make my way through the smog as an actress. When I arrived I looked around and found someone that I recognized. I went up to her and said “Hey! How are you?”- she said she was doing great. I asked her how the Howling Wolf was doing. (This was a restaurant I was a waitress at in Aspen the year before.)  She said “I don’t know what you mean.”?  So I reminded her “Didn’t we wait tables together at the Howling Wolf”? – “No”. She said. “I’m a model”…  ”Oh… how’s that going”? I asked, assuming it was something like wearing a fur hat in the Aspen information guide that got handed out to tourists. “It’s going well”. She smiled politely and walked away. My friend then decked me in the chest and said “I cannot believe you just told Rachel Hunter that you thought she was a waitress at the Howling Wolf. You are such a douche”….

2.) In 1997 I acted in a play called Mainliner in a tiny dump on Fountain Ave. I became friends with the directors girlfriend Kerry. We hung out here and there, she was an LA local who knew a bunch of celebs. One night we went to Tobey Maguire’s birthday party, Leonardo DiCaprio was there and I met him briefly. They ALL knew Kerry. I was her wing woman. It was awesome. About six months later, the play was over and I wasn’t seeing Kerry much anymore. But I got invited to a premiere on the Paramount lot. There was Tobey Maguire. I went up to him and said “Hey, I’m Miranda Bailey. I’m good friends with Kerry. We met at your birthday party”.- “Kerry who?” he said…”Um, Kerry…..” but for the life of me, at that moment I couldn’t remember her last name. “Kerry….um, something like a fish for a last name”? He looked at me like I was a pathetic loser ” Yeah”, he said “You’re not that good friends with someone if you don’t know their last name”. . I guess he was right.

3.) In 1998 I was crossing Beverly Blvd. As I waited at the light. I noticed this guy. Where did I know him from? Summer Camp? “Hey, is your name David”? He looked annoyed and pushed the walk button harder as if that would make the light turn and didn’t answer me. “Did you go to Anderson Camp in Colorado?”… the light turned. He walked faster than a pregnant woman headed towards the bathroom. [...]


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November 15 at 9:57am

10 Embarrassing Brushes With Celebrities

By Jack Lechner

1. 1985. I’m taking the bus from my job in Manhattan to my shared walkup in Hoboken. The guy who plunks down across from me is none other than John Sayles, one of my heroes on Earth. I know I should say something to him, something clever and charming – but I can’t, because I begin to shake uncontrollably at the very sight of him. I’m still shaking when he gets off the bus in Hoboken.

2. 1987. I’m on an awards jury in LA. Before the meeting starts, someone mentions seeing a crappy summer movie. “Have you ever seen SUMMER LOVERS?” I ask. “It couldn’t possibly be worse than that.” Right on cue, a man sits down to join us. It’s Randal Kleiser – the director of SUMMER LOVERS. (He’s surprisingly gracious about it.)

3. 1987. I watch a brilliant short film from Columbia University, by a young director named Nicole Holofcener. [...]


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November 5 at 8:15am

Professional

by John Sayles

Sayles1

            The first storytelling I got to do was as a novelist in the 1970s, and in those days there was a phenomenon known as the ‘vanity press’.   Today we would call it ‘self-publishing’ with little hint of derision, but back then it was considered something lesser, tacky in a way, amateurs so deluded about their lack of talent they ponied up and paid somebody to print their work and then gave it away as presents to their friends.  There were exceptions made for ideologues– medical, philosophical or political– who were too far out for even the most adventurous publishers, but though their plight was understood these people were considered to be mere pamphleteers rather than ‘professional writers’.  A professional writer didn’t pay to be published, and in many cases got an advance against royalties from their publisher.  My first advance for a novel was for $2,500 in 1975, when the minimum wage was slightly over a dollar an hour.  Two years ago I got a $3,000 advance for my novel A Moment in the Sun.  Minimum wage, thankfully, has advanced more steadily than my earning power as a novelist.  But it was still a big deal to [...]


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October 14 at 8:15am

Why A Film Starring Just One Person: ME!

by  Ian Delaney

It all began, as most things seem to in an actor’s life, with a touch of vanity. I have been writing short films and scenes for years as an effort to hire myself and friends when the established Industry hadn’t yet. What I discovered is that my talent for writing, meager as it may be, lies entirely in writing great material for other people. Looking back on the body of work my friends and I produced, the roles I wrote for myself were “poor players” indeed, whereas the roles I wrote for my friends held all the comedy, all the drama, and therefore helped propel their careers far further and faster than my own.

This realization led me to an important question: how can I write better stories and characters for myself? [...]


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September 16 at 8:15am

The WASTELANDER PANDA Saga! Part 5. Release

by Kirsty Stark (Producer), Ella Macintyre (PMD) and Victoria Cocks (Writer/Director)

Part 5. Release: Wrap-Up & What’s Next

Our final step in this stage of the Wastelander Panda journey was to release the films.  We did this in three stages – a preview at the SXSW Film Festival in March, two back-to-back screenings at a local cinema in Adelaide on May 27th, and an online release that same evening. 

We had different reasons and goals for each of these three steps: [...]


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September 9 at 8:15am

The WASTELANDER PANDA Saga! Part 4. Production: Keeping our Audience Engaged

by Kirsty Stark (Producer), Ella Macintyre (PMD) and Victoria Cocks (Writer/Director)

Part 4. Production: Keeping our Audience Engaged

Once we had our project funded, we needed to find a way to keep our audience engaged over the year it took to write, produce and release our three Wastelander Panda films.

When we released our Prologue, it was nothing more than a three-minute film, so all of the traffic we gained was directed back to our production company, Epic Films, via our website and Facebook page.  This was far from ideal, especially considering that the company’s two other short films, L’Artiste! and Landscape Scene, were very different in tone and subject matter.  We needed to separate our Wastelander Panda branding in order to give it the best possible chance of succeeding online long-term, so our first step after funding the project was to create a new Wastelander Panda website (at this stage a WordPress blog), Facebook page and Twitter account.

XBlog-4.1.this

It turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated to migrate all of our fans over to the new pages.  This taught us a great lesson [...]


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